The two men swung steadily through the heather with that reaching stride the birthright of moor-men and highianders. They talked but little, for such was their nature: a word or two on sheep and the approaching lambing-time; thence on to the coming Trials; the Shepherds' Trophy; Owd Bob and the attempt on him; and from that to M'Adam and the Tailless Tyke,
"D'yo' reck'n M'Adam had a hand in't?" the postman was asking.
"Ceptin' he's mad to get shut o' Th' Owd Un afore Cup Day."
or me--it mak's no differ." For a dog is disqualified from competing for the Trophy who has changed hands during the six months prior to the meeting. And this holds good though the change be only from father to son on the decease of the former.
Jim looked up inquiringly at his companion.
"D'yo' think it'll coorn to that?" he asked.
"Not if I can help it," the other answered grimly.
The fog had cleared away by now, and the moon was up. To their right, on the crest of a rise some two hundred yards away, a low wood stood out black against the sky. As they passed it, a blackbird rose up screaming, and a brace of wood-pigeons winged noisily away.